Most people at graduate networking events don’t know many people either: they welcome ice breakers.
Yes, you’re all in the same boat, don’t be flannel and go up to someone and introduce yourself and we’ve got a few tips to make sure you can nail your first ice breaker.
Prepare – Prepare a simple ice breaker that’s going to be the first thing you will say. Instead of trying to remember loads of question as you will most likely forget all of them, its so much easier to just remember the first question you will say. Now I’m not talking “How much does a Polar bear weigh? Enough to break the ice “. You’re not trying to get a date. So first of all Know the event, what people are going to be there? And why?
The Ice breaker question should be two things:
1- Can lead on to follow up questions
2- Slightly personal so the person is engaged.
When I was at graduate events within my company this was my go to question “What University did you go to” that’s the level of wet talk I’m on about. This was because the question is personal but not too intruding and the question can lead to many follows through questions such as “I know someone there, they really like going to. or its always been a place I’ve wanted to go because of” . This also shows that you are listening to respond with engaging conversation and not to responding to sell your self.
Enjoy, Networking with peers shouldn’t be a burden. Be F@CKING confident in your own abilities. Once you’ve asked that first question, relax and let the conversation flow and importantly find common ground.
Start networking like a you give a F@CK.